After we received your email of October 16, 2009, EugeneAdvocates decided we needed to convene a work session to review your thoughts and review solutions. Your email of October 16, 2009, stated in part the following:
"If I tell you that we have been constantly working on this, you will probably take it as a way to put off doing more. I assure you that is not the case. We have over the last few years offered loans to fix up store fronts, put bike officers and additional other officers in place in the downtown, reluctantly put in place an exclusion zone, worked to bring Beam, Lord Lebrick and LCC into our downtown, improved rules for in front of the library, funded additional red jackets, worked with the Chamber and participated in a public safety group, supported county efforts for funding, asked the county to open additional beds and twice offered money swaps to help ensure that could occur, had an entire array of outdoor activities downtown to draw public there â€“ and that's just off the top of my head this morning. I am working with DA on his working group and support the Chief with his as we continue to try to both enforce the law and be creative in our usage of scarce resources. "
Our work session concluded that yes these actions have in fact been taken but have not been successful in correcting the problem. As one member of the group said "Notice that almost none of the actions they've taken address the underlying problem of downtown in any sustainable way: the uncivilized people and their uncivilized behavior." Further research into what has happened in just the last four years is summarized by below emails inserts listed below. Please note the dates and the contents.
1. In an email dated March 21, 2005 sent at 12:56pm, you sent to a local business owner stating: "I just want you to know that I have shared this with the chief. I am sorry for the difficult challenges you face..." signed Kitty.
2. In another email dated March 21, 2005, sent at 5:56pm to a local business owner you state: "I am going to ask my assistant, Sarita Black, to forward this information to our police department and to Richie Weinman who deals with housing issues and is involved in the current effort to develop low cost housing. I think they should both be aware of the issues you bring forward." "I don't know who is at fault. I know it is a difficult situation for a business owner." signed Kitty Piercy.
3. Six months later in another email dated September 4, 2005 sent by Councilor Betty Taylor to a business owner at 10:20am states: "I think we do care, but caring isn't enough. I think we need a work session to discuss the problem and possible solutions. Do you have suggestions for solutions? signed Betty.
4. In another brief email dated March 10, 2006, sent to a business owner at 3:41pm responding to an article that the business owner sent to the Mayor regarding attacks in Downtown you state:"I got this..." signed Kitty.
In summary, one must conclude that this matter has been a source of concern for all for at least the last four years without any adequate solutions being implemented. This matter has had work sessions, has been referred to Chiefs, and had community involvement to the highest. Continued lip service is not necessary. Eugene has now gained national attention for our crime rates. Mayor your own staff has stated: "...what is significant is no other city in America over 100,000 population came even close to Eugene's increased crime in 2008." Further staff has pointed out that the crime index has increased 12% for the time from January-July 2008 vs 2009 with violent crimes increasing 8% and property crimes increasing 12% over the same period. With this trend Eugene will once again be in the highest categories for 2009. Time to fix the problems without further review is now before it gets further out of hand. There appears to be a disconnect somewhere in the chain of command from the Mayor and Council level down to the City Manager level to the Police Chief level to the Police Officers on the Street. While it is unclear where that disconnect is it must be removed so that our beautiful city can be restored for the business owners, investors, patrons and tax paying citizens of Eugene.
EugeneAdvocates work session has concluded that the City of Eugene should immediately without further delay remove the disconnect and ask the current Police Department to implement an immediate policy of strict current law enforcement with an aggressive citation program in the downtown area for those who disrespect the laws of Eugene. Those folks and the solutions were discussed in depth on the Pictorials. Please remember Mayor the responsibility is yours and the buck stops with you.
EugeneAdvocates for a Clean City